- Plant conservation
- Sustainable agriculture
- Alpine ecology and rock gardening
- Synthesis of Art and Science
As Director of Horticulture, I oversee the curation and care of Cornell Botanic Gardens’ living plant collections. I am also a Lecturer in the School of Integrative Plant Science where I teach PLHRT 2010: The Art of Horticulture, an experiential class that encourages students to explore the intersection of creativity and the natural world.
I work alongside a skilled team of Horticulturists to design, care for, and communicate about the plants in our collections and their connections to diverse cultures around the world. Our gardens and arboretum are home to over 4,500 taxa of hardy trees, shrubs, and perennials, as well as a unique selection of tender and tropical plants. This “living laboratory” provides germplasm for researchers, educational opportunities to Cornell students, and an inclusive space for respite, connection, and inspiration for everyone. I am passionate about developing our ex situ conservation efforts, which include the cultivation of species classified as globally rare, vulnerable, or endangered by the IUCN. We maintain Nationally Accredited Oak and Maple Collections and are an affiliate member of the Global Conservation Consortium for Oaks (GCCO). I contribute to the sustainable development and maintenance of our campus landscapes as a member of the Cornell Landscape Improvement Partnership.
I hold a Master’s degree in Horticulture from Cornell University with a focus in Public Garden Leadership, and a Bachelor’s of Fine Art from Murray State University. I was previously the Alpine Horticulturist for Stonecrop Gardens, and prior to that managed an organic vegetable CSA farm in New Mexico. Before a career shift to horticulture, I was a practicing artist and worked for several arts organizations including the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, and Scottsdale Public Art in Arizona.